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Carl Showalter is the secondary antagonist of the 1996 crime film Fargo, alongside Gaear Grimsrud his accomplice.

He is portrayed by Steve Buscemi, who also plays Randall Boggs, Garland Greene and Mr. Pink.


Showalter and his partner, Grimsrud, are two criminals who are hired by a Minneapolis, Minnesota car salesman named Jerry Lundegaard, to kidnap his wife, Jean, so he can use the ransom money to pay off the money he embezzled from the dealership he is employed at to cover his own debts, which are never clearly specified. Carl and Gaear travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota where they break into Lundegaard's home. Jean hides from them, but Gaear finds her and ties her up. They drive away, but a state trooper pulls them over outside Brainerd. Carl remembers that he forgot to put the temporary dealer plates on the vehicle, and attempts to bribe the trooper. When this fails, Jean squirms in the backseat and the trooper hears her. Gaear then grabs the trooper by the head, drags him into the car, pulls his gun from the glovebox, and shoots the trooper in the head, killing him. Grimsrud then calmly puts the pistol away and scoffs at Carl's "plan", telling him to get the trooper's body off the road. While Carl is doing so, two teenagers drive by and see this. They speed off, intending to tell the police, and Gaear pursues them, flicking his cigarette out the window. They lose control of their car and swerve off the road, and Gaear pulls over, shooting one in the back and the other in the head. They hide at a lakeside cabin, and Gaear eventually becomes annoyed with Jean, later beating her to death. After a dispute with Carl over the money, Gaear kills him with an axe and later shreds his body in a woodchipper.



  • Showalter was referenced in the film Monsters, Inc., when Randall Boggs (who was also portrayed by Steve Buscemi) threatens to put Fungus through the shredder.